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"Quantum dot" is another name for a nanocrystal solar cell, a cell type comprised of a silicon base, or substrate, with a coating of nanocrystals. The primary advantage quantum dots offer the world of photovoltaics is increased efficiency due to the amount of energy that can be created with just one photon of sunlight.
Quantum dot cells are created using a process called spin-coating. A quantum dot solution is placed onto a silicon substrate, which is spun very quickly. As it spins, nanocrystal solution spreads out evenly across the surface of the substrate. Scientists have pinpoint-control over thickness of the quantum dot layer.
The quantum dot solar cell's ability to excite many electrons from just one photon of sunlight is known as carrier multiplication. This is the key to high-efficiency quantum dot cells. Researchers have been able to create nanocrystal cells that excite several electrons from one high-energy photon of sunlight, creating many times the electric current from other solar cells, which can only excite one electron per incident photon.
Materials used in quantum dot cell include lead selenide (PbSe), cadmium telluride (CdTe), titanium dioxide (TiO₂) and lead sulfide (PbS). Quantum dot technology could also be combined with polymer solar cell technology to create flexible and efficient composite photovoltaic cells. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory predicted in 2005 that quantum dots could potentially boost solar cell efficiency to 65 percent.
Yes, quantum dot solar cell research is still in its infancy and competing with other third-generation solar cells. But like other promising solar cell technologies, the formula for success has been found. It is transforming that formula from laboratory to rooftop that is the challenge. And lately, things are definitely looking up for quantum dots.Plastic Solar Cells / Foil Solar Cells / Carbon Solar Cells / Polymer Solar Cells / Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells / Silicon Solar Cells / Nanocrystal / Organic / Spray-on Solar Cells / Advanced Thin-Film Solar Cells / Thin-Film Solar Cells / Carbon Nanotube Solar Cells / Quantum Dot Solar Cells / Multi-Junction Solar Cells / Hybrid Solar Cells / 3-D Solar Cells
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